"Absolutely ridiculous," Cincinnati Reds ace pitcher Trevor Bauer told reporters following his first inning ejection yesterday.
Bauer was tossed from the game after plunking back-to-back Astros hitters to begin the game on Thursday, in an alleged act of retribution for Houston's cheating scandal that rocked the baseball world when it was exposed this winter.
Bauer drilled Houston leadoff hitter and 2017 World Series MVP* George Springer with the first pitch of the game, immediately bringing both dugouts to their feet and prompting superstar umpire Joe West to issue warnings to both teams.
After a few minutes, tensions subsided and Carlos Correa stepped up to the plate, only to get another fastball squarely in the middle of his back.
"I just didn't have a good feel for the baseball," Bauer later said, adding, "But to kick me out after two batters is just absurd. I'm sure my next pitch to (Alex) Bregman would have been right on target."
"Maybe if we were allowed to use pine tar I could have gotten a better grip and we wouldn't be talking about this," he said, "But regardless, the rule is that I get to pitch to three batters. I'm just trying to play the game the way Rob (Manfred) intended."
Bauer is, of course, referring to Commissioner Manfred's slate of new rules to speed up pace-of-play, which includes the three-batter minimum as well as mandating runners sprint to first on walks and starting each batter with a 3-2 count.
Manfred has gone on record that these changes have greatly improved and modernized the sport, proudly citing internal studies that have shown them to have shaved off an average of 30 seconds of game time every other game.
The Astros batters declined to comment on the ejection, instead directing us to read the commissioner's report.
Image Credit: CBS Sports